Are cows going to save the planet or ruin it?

We say cows can be good for the planet:

Cows can help us slow down climate change, because when they eat in a field they trample weeds and dead bushes then fertilize them with feces. That helps grow more healthy plants that then absorb carbon from the atmosphere and add it to the soil. This only works with rotational (mob) grazing, where the plants have a chance to recover from the trampling and foraging of the cows. - CJ

I think that they are going to save the planet because of all the manure they produce. Manure is a great way to add organic matter to the soil and become an organic farmer. Cows can also mob graze, which will slow climate change. If cows all come and eat one patch of plants for a little bit, then move on, then the plants will regrow and when the cows come back they will eat them again, they will be regrown instead of having cows overgraze one specific area. In conclusion, cows will most certainly prevail as the solvers of climate change and killing them is signing your death wish. - Owen

Cows can help the climate if you manage them well. This is because they can graze in small areas within large fields, and if you move them quite often between different small areas, the areas can regrow grass while there are no cows on them. The cows fertilize the soil and eat the grass, and the soil stores carbon in the form of organic matter. - Henry

We think we are in the middle of a cowpocalypse:

Cows are going to destroy our environment; the way they are being farmed adds a lot carbon to the environment. Unless the farming tactics or human diets change drastically, cow farming adds methane and carbon to the atmosphere and also destroys the soil that the cows are on. With the removal of cows from our diet, we could heal the environment and the earth, as well as our diets. Red meat is terrible for our hearts and causes many deaths every year. Not only do current cow farming techniques destroy land, cows also take a lot of water to farm. With the water crises the world is facing, farming cows is no longer a reality. - Josh

Cows are going to ruin the climate if we stay on the direction we are going because all of the methane that they put in the atmosphere as well as all the carbon burned in growing and transporting the average cow’s food.  If we converted to mob-grazing (which I keep suggesting) then they would still hurt the environment, but not even close to as much as they do now. - Alan

Cows are slowly killing our planet. Their farts, eating amount, and grazing is not, in any way, supporting us, or are pointed in the direction of saving the planet. They are producing carbon into the air and eating many of our plants. I can’t see a way that they are helping us at all. Other then tasting good and producing milk, they are no good to us. If in some way, polluting the air is good, (which isn’t possible) then they would be great. - Emily

I think cows are going to destroy the climate, it’s not their faults though, it’s the ways we raise and graze them. Cows are one of the biggest emitters of methane which is 26 times worse than carbon dioxide. The next problem is that when cows graze, they wipe out a field then if they are not moved to the next field, the fields don't get enough time to fully grow back. If cows were just continuously moved and were taken back to an area only after it’s fully grown back, that would be different. But most cows are raised in feedlots, so there is no chance for their grazing to help the planet. With just these reasons, cows alone destroy the climate. - Ryan

Cows are going to ruin the planet. On average, a cow releases between 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year. That is very bad for climate change. A Japanese study showed that producing a kilogram of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a global warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2). - Leo

Cows are a huge controversy when it comes to climate change. By now, most people know that one cow can drink up to 40-50 gallons of water a day or sometimes more if they are in a heated environment. A cow on average also releases between 70 and 120kg of methane per year, so in my opinion their negative impact far outweighs their positive impact.  The United States also eats more meat than ever before, with our country last year consuming more than 24.1 billion pounds of beef. If we continue at this rate, cows are definitely going to ruin the environment, as it doesn’t seem like we can support the “production” of raising these animals and the impact that they have on the environment and our health. - Aidan

We think it could go either way:

Cows might either save the planet or ruin it. It depends if you’re using the correct grazing methods. If you keep them in one place, then it will ruin the soil and the climate. But if you are moving them around on a cycle and letting the grass grow back, then it is good for the soil and the planet. And cows could save the planet.- Hudson

COWS CAN SAVE US. They can save us with what I said earlier with mob grazing (see Piper's answer about storing carbon in the soil), and they are also just awesome. I think if I were to become a cattlewoman, I would have smaller groups of cows grazing at a time, so they improve the soil rather than destroy it. But if we don’t take care of this correctly, cows will end up killing us, so if we keep doing what we're doing right now with large groups of cows in one enclosed area, we’re all going to die, it's a fact. - Piper